White House Press Secretary Jay Carney downplayed a Washington Post story that says senior White House adviser David Plouffe got $100,000 for giving a speech to a company that has had business dealings with Iran. Republicans seized on the story, saying it raises questions about Obama's record on Iran.
Carney said Plouffe was invited to speak by an affiliate of the company and gave two speeches on mobile technology and digital communications, "and had no separate meetings with the company's leadership." And he maintained that "even the most zealous watchdog group on this issue did not start their campaign on the host company's holding company until years later.
"Criticism of Mr. Plouffe now for issues and controversies that developed much later are simply misplaced," Carney said, adding that "I think that this is clearly politics."
Republicans insisted there were warning signs that should've alerted the White House: "Today's story raises serious questions about Barack Obama's senior adviser traveling to Nigeria weeks before he joined the West Wing to give a speech with a company actively engaged with and profiting from the oppressive policies of the Iranian regime," RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said. "David Plouffe may be the biggest loophole in the international community's sanctions against Iran."